EDITOR’S NOTE: Tony Barthel, who with his wife, Peggy, produces the Stressless Camping podcast and website, is attending the Forest River Owners Group (FROG) International Rally this week at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind. Starting today, he will provide a daily update on the FROG Rally for RVBusiness.
With over 380 RVs from all over North America the 2023 Forest River Owners Group, or FROG, International Rally officially opened last night at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind. Being held from Aug. 13-19, the rally consists of fellowship, workshops, vendors and an opportunity to obtain factory service for owners of Forest River RV products.
In fact that factory service, which includes factory repairs of up to three items on current and three prior model year RVs, is one of the major reasons people initially come to the rally. But RVBusiness spoke with several attendees who have returned year after year for many other reasons.
As with many groups, RVers tend to gravitate toward each other as they share common interests – and challenges. From maintenance tips to travel itineraries, these collective events tend to put like-minded individuals together. It doesn’t hurt that factory representatives from Airxcel, Dometic, Dexter, Lippert and others are on-hand with seminars and answers.
We spoke with Bob Byrne, organizer of the rally, about what brings people in. According to him, about 40% of the attendees this year are new to the event, and were also given a l’ei to signify a welcome.
“The real benefit is camaraderie: getting together with old friends and making new ones,” said Byrne of the event.
Indeed, this reporter has already met quite a few people in person who were just friends online prior to this.
There is also a Tiki bar organized by Scott and Vickie Yencer from Canada who have been attending the FROG rally since its inception.
For $700 for two adults and one RV attendees get six nights of camping along with four dinners and six breakfasts. Seminars and workshops from the various companies in attendance are also a draw where owners can learn about the things that make their RV work and how to keep that happening.
Movies, music, an ice cream social and various rallies specific to brands within Forest River are also draws to the event. And, of course, there’s no discounting all the new RVs on display in the event that what you brought isn’t exactly what you hope to leave with.
We will have daily wraps and highlights from the show in RVBusiness. There will also be a daily live wrap at 6 p.m. on StressLess Camping’s Facebook and YouTube feeds with this reporter and RV electricity expert Mike Sokol.